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Macaʹber

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The dance macaber. The Dance of the dead (q.v.) (French, dance macabre.) A dance over which Death presides, supposed to be executed by the dead of all ages and conditions. It is an allegory of the mortality of man, and was a favourite subject of artists and poets between the 13th and 15th centuries. It was originally written in German, then in Latin, and then in French. Some think Macaber was the name of the author, but others think the word is the Arabic makabir, a cemetery. The best illustrations are those by Minden, Lucerne, Lubeck, Dresden, and Basle. Holbein’s painting is very celebrated.

“What are these paintings on the wall around us? The dance macaber.”


Longfellow: The Golden Legend.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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MacAlpin
MacFarlane’s Geese
MacFlecknoe
MacGirdie’s Mare
MacGregor
MacIntyre (Captain Hector)
MacIvor (Fergus)
MacPherson
MacTab
MacTurk (Captain Mungo or Hector)
Macaber
Macadamise
Macaire
Macamut
Macare (French)
Macaroni
Macaronic Latin
Macaronic Verse
Macbeth (Shakespeare)
Macbriar (Ephraim)
Maccabæus